The 2019 edition of the Apia Sydney International will start on January 6 and will feature the likes of Angelique Kerber and Naomi Osaka leading the women’s draw.
The tournament, being a Premier-level event on the women’s circuit, is known to draw in some of the biggest names every season. Furthermore, the event is played right before the Australian Open and it serves as an important practice run for those who are looking to excel at Melbourne.
The defending champion Kerber has confirmed her participation for the tournament. The World No. 2 started her 2018 season outside the top 20 and moved on to break into the top three by the end of the season.
She won her very first title of the year in Sydney and followed it with a semifinal run at the Australian Open. She continued to reach the penultimate rounds in several tournaments thereafter and it wasn’t until the Wimbledon that she had a breakthrough – at the SW19, she defeated Serena Williams to win the title.
Another top 10 player to feature in Sydney is the World No. 5 Naomi Osaka, who took the WTA Tour by storm after defeating Serena Williams in a controversial final at the US Open. She is also the reigning Indian Wells champion and was the runner-up at the WTA Tokyo in 2018.
However, her Australian Open series didn’t go as planned last season and the Japanese will be hoping to avoid that feat this time around.
The fans will also get to witness the American No. 1 Sloane Stephens, who ended her season on a high note by reaching the finals at the WTA Finals Singapore. It was the third time that season she had to settle for a runner-up title, with the other two occasions being the WTA Montreal and Roland Garros.
In the men’s bracket, we will see the next generation star Frances Tiafoe, who reached his career-high singles ranking as the World No. 38 last season. He will be accompanied by the 22-year-old, the World No. 16 Daniil Medvedev.
The young Russian won three titles last season, including the one in Sydney. He also won ATP Tokyo and ATP Winston-Salem, defeating the likes of Milos Raonic, Kei Nishikori, and Steve Johnson.